ZocdocAnswersI've been having a burning-like sensation in the middle and left part of my chest that radiates to my arms, left arm most. What should I do?

Question

I've been having a burning-like sensation in the middle and left part of my chest that radiates to my arms, left arm most. What should I do?

Age: 22, Female, Weight: 135. Not allergic to anything I know of other then coconut but only if I eat too much of it. Been having a burning-like sensation in the middle & left part of my chest that radiates to my arms, left arm most. Was concerned it might be heart-related so I went to hospital twice. They did blood work & cat scan & told me everything looks healthy. Doctor said was probably inflammation on my chest wall from overdoing myself. They sent me home & it went away for few days but came back. Second time it came back it hurt in center of my chest when I swallow but went away after an hour. (thinking it might be something with my esophagus) Wasn't concerned about it being heart-related ignored it & waited it out & got better again. Now my chest is acting up yet again, this time my upper/mid back hurts, feels a bit stiff. I'm scared, don't know what is wrong with me. Just want other doctors opinions that might put my mind at ease.

Answer

As a young woman, it is very unlikely that you have a problem with your heart, lungs, or blood vessels, especially since you have already been the hospital and gotten checked out. It's great that you did that and given that you are having ongoing symptoms it is a good idea to make an appointment to see your primary care doctor to deal with this problem over time. There are many things that can cause chest pain including muscle or joint pain - this is called costochondritis, it hurts with movement or pressure, and can be made better by taking motrin or aleve. If you have burning pain under your chest bone, especially after eating, this can be heart burn. Try avoiding foods that irritate the stomach, including chocolate, coffee, and spicy foods. Over the counter antacids including tums, maalox, or prilosec can help with this. Finally, another important cause of chest pain can be anxiety, which can cause a feeling of chest pressure, rapid heart beat, and a feeling of a lump in your throat or even dizziness or light-headedness. Talking about your concerns with your primary care doctor and figuring out an approach to this problem makes the most sense and will help you begin to sort out what might be going on.

This answer is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice.

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